We are safely back in the UK now after our Route 66 road-trip. I’m working on a few paintings of scenes from the Route and will post some of them here soon. Meanwhile, it’s time to get ready for my autumn term of classes at West Norfolk Arts Centre, which start on Thursday 11th October.
It’s always an interesting challenge to come up with new subjects for my students, or at least old subjects presented in a new way. Here’s a taster of the first painting that the two Thursday groups will be tackling. Just a small crop from my ‘try-out’ to whet the appetite!
Well, we made it all the way to the Pacific ocean. It’s supposed to be around 2400 miles from Chicago to LA, but I reckon we’ve clocked nearer 3000 with the various side trips that we’ve done. Back to England tomorrow and I’ll post some more paintings and sketches from the Route soon!
We’ve diverted off Route 66 to return to the Grand Canyon which we visited last year. Despite having been here before the views are still breathtaking. This is one place you must come to if you are a lover of the landscape and even more so if you are a keen walker.
Our hiking has been a little upset by having a puncture in our rental car, which involved a lot of waiting about for someone to change the wheel. Needless to say I tried to do this myself, but could I get the wheel nuts off? Eventually a good ol’ boy in a pick-up truck came and did the job for us. But we will still have to go to Flagstaff tomorrow because now we have no spare tyre. Ah well, just one of those things.
Today, we hiked the South Kaibab trail from the South rim of the canyon down to Skeleton Point. A truly great walk with amazing views all around. At the Point there was just time for a quick ink sketch of the view down to the Colorado river before the plod back to the top. This is about half way on the trek down to the river and it took five hours with stops. Phew! But it was worth it.
We,ve been travelling west again today, after visit to the Acoma Pueblo Sky City Native American settlement this morning. Some fascinating history and great scenery too, with Mount Taylor looming in the distance. I’ll probably do some paintings of the area before too long.
Meanwhile we took Highway 53 west, instead of Route 66, because it was billed as a really scenic drive. I’m not sure that the scenery was any more outstanding than other parts of New Mexico, but we did pass by El Morro National Monument, which is a huge and quite colourful rock formation. I got my Bockingford sketch-pad out and using a preliminary drawing in ink, did this quick watercolour sketch.
The landscape is getting more dramatic as we slowly travel west towards the Grand Canyon, so I’m hoping for more sketching opportunities soon!
We’re in New Mexico now and the scenery is really becoming much more dramatic. Up until we reached Amarillo in Texas it was quite hard to believe that we’re not in England. Lots of green fields, trees, and gently rolling countryside. Not really what we expected.
But now, mountains are looming and the rocks are red and gold. Time to get my paints out! I’ll try to post some paintings soon, but there is still many a mile to travel. Tomorrow we will go to Santa Fe, the art capital of the West. I wonder if they would like any Norfolk watercolours?
We have been relaxing for couple of days in the Ozarks mountains, before pushing on into Oklahoma. I haven’t done any sketching here as the Ozarks, although green and pleasant, are not the most inspiring of landscapes. Very low hills and lots of trees, surrounding the Lake which is the main reason people come here, for water sports or to relax by the waterside and drink a lot!
Here are a couple of photos from earlier in the trip, one of the Chicago skyline at night and one of a Route 66 mural by artist Bob Waldmire, one of several that he did on walls in Pontiac, Illinois.
Yes, a lot of travelling has taken place since my last post. Margaret and I are currently in St Louis, Missouri at the start of our Route 66 road trip across the USA from Chicago to LA. I’ll be posting a few photos and sketches here over the next three weeks, so I hope you will be able to get something of the flavour of the trip. 300 miles today from Chicago to St Louis. And there’s a thunder storm raging, so no outdoor sketching this evening!
A few days left to catch this intriguing exhibition, which included two of my own works. In the accompanying photo you can see the striking effect of the coloured background to each work. The venue is the Shakespeare Barn at King’s Lynn Arts Centre galleries, located behind the Guildhall in King Street, King’s Lynn. Open daily 10am – 5pm from now until Saturday 15th September.
A view of some of the eager sketchers who attended my recent weekend workshop. You can see the spire of Snettisham church in the background. The church makes a great subject but requires plenty of care in the drawing!